Kigali hosts a five –day 6thAnnual General Meeting and conference of the Eastern Africa Association of Public Accounts Committees (EAAPAC) to build the capacity of members of the different Public Accounts Committees (PACs), and MPs effectiveness in general.
Among the issues to be discussed is the questioned ability on Rwanda’s parliament in dealing with matters related to the public accounts following how the controversial Rukarara saga.
At that time, the head of PAC, Juvenal Nkusi said some of MPs lack expertise in dealing with particular matters like transparency and accountability in relation to public funds management.
With reference to the Ad hoc committee’s mistakes which resulted in accusing innocent people over the Rukarara hydro power plant mismanagement, in a report which was later rejected and saw PAC assigned to reinvestigate the matter, ending up by clearing all the officials alleged in the matter.
Nkusi, highlighted that, Rwanda should have experts in particular fields affiliated to our committees.
“Am optimistic that this conference held at the parliament will contribute a lot to preventing such mistakes from happening again, by equipping MPs with the ability to promote accountability with maximum effectiveness, he said.
Adding that: “Our PAC was established last year. In the region we have PACs that have been working for at least 30 years like in Uganda. We will learn from them the principles and challenges that play a part in our duty. This will enhance our capacities as an oversight committee in ensuring accountability based on budget formulation and spending.”
The conference has attracted 12 countries from the region, and 72 delegates are expected in Kigali. The countries to attend are Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia, Namibia, Liberia, South Sudan, Burundi and Rwanda.
The conference comes as an attachment to its mission of building capacity of member PACs to promote accountability in the use of public resources.
“We will share with our experienced colleagues, knowledge about budget formulation process, spending and expenditure control in relation to accountability, transparency, and the role of development partners in budget formulation and spending,” Nkusi stated.
Rwanda’s PAC head believes EAAPC’s general meeting will leave Rwandan MPs informed on strategies to improve budget transparency and accountability among other salient subtopics.
Legislators will also create networks and exchange contacts for future communication particularly on matters financial oversight.
During the meeting, Rwandan MPS will have time to do an overview on the budget formulation process with an emphasis on the role of the legislature, identify weaknesses and best practices in the budget formulation process and how these can be addressed and what should entail an effective budget formulation.
EAAPAC’s vision is to distinguish itself as an organization empowering its members to effectively carry out functions as oversight committees over the public sector finances and promoting accountability and good governance.